TILTON, Ill. (WCIA) — A crash on Interstate 74 Tuesday night required the usual first responders – firefighters and State Police – to be on the scene, but another group of people were called to respond due to some unique circumstances regarding the crash.

One of the vehicles involved was towing cattle and the trailer overturned. To treat and handle the animals, a team of veterinarians from the University of Illinois were called to the scene.

Brian Aldridge, a Clinical Professor in Rural Animal Health Management at the College of Veterinary Medicine, was among those on the scene. He said there was anywhere between 20 to 40 cows in the trailer and that they weighed nearly 1,200 pounds each.

The Vet-Med team was assisted by State Troopers who handled traffic, volunteer firefighters to gain access to the cattle trapped inside the overturned trailer and local farmers to handle the cattle. The farmers provided trailers and gates to hold the cattle once they had been removed from the trailer.

Aldridge said that due to the number of cows, the team had to perform triage and decide which cows needed the most amount of treatment and attention. Most of the cows had injuries that included broken bones and other wounds that could heal on their own; they were taken to locations in the surrounding area to destress and heal.

Three cows, however, did not survive the ordeal. Aldridge said one had died by the time Vet-Med started triage, either from crushing injuries or a broken neck. Two others had to be euthanized. Aldridge added that two other cows nearly met the same fate but were able to improve.

Aldridge said that all of the cows, including the two that were euthanized, were treated humanely.